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Construction Begins on University of Alabama’s Tutwiler Residence Hall

February 27, 2020

Transitioning from high school to college can be daunting, so it’s important that incoming freshmen inhabit inviting dormitories. Connectedness is a key component in the design of University of Alabama’s new Tutwiler Residence Hall now under construction for first-year female students.

The 365,000-square-foot dorm is designed to maximize social interaction. A recent study in the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice looked at the impact of residence hall design on student academic achievement. The study found that “socializing architecture” is associated with a higher first-semester grade point average.

Scheduled to open in spring 2022, the new facility was designed by Birmingham-based TURNERBATSON in partnership with Mackey Mitchell Architects in St. Louis.

“The team made a concerted effort to maximize the amount of social spaces throughout the residential floors,” explains TURNERBATSON Principal/Vice President Eric Berg. “Our goal was to promote more social interaction outside of the semi-private rooms. We capitalized on the views of the stadium on the northwest corner of the building by creating two-story clubhouses to be used as social spaces by the residents.

In addition to the clubhouses, there are social spaces at the connecting bridges and in the middle of each building. As a result, each resident is within a short distance of their room from reaching a social space.”

The new residence hall will incorporate precast stone, brick veneer, aluminum windows and a sloped, architectural shingled roof that harmonizes with the recently constructed sorority houses nearby.

The double and single-occupancy rooms each have a private bathroom. Amenities include a fitness center, craft room, two clubhouses per floor, storm shelter and laundry facilities.

These enclosed bridges interconnect the complex’s five-story buildings that fit the scale of the surrounding neighborhood. Designing the building with fewer floors also provides a more pleasant experience in the center exterior courtyard that promotes recreation and socializing. Studies were conducted to determine what would help create sunlit space. The team also balanced material/systems costs with long-term maintenance and durability costs. This was done to provide value for the university without compromising the design or quality of construction.

Image 1- Scheduled to open in spring 2022, the new facility was designed by Birmingham-based TURNERBATSON in partnership with Mackey Mitchell Architects in St. Louis.

Image 2- Enclosed bridges interconnect the complex’s five-story buildings that fit the scale of the surrounding neighborhood.

Image 3- The new residence hall will incorporate precast stone, brick veneer, aluminum windows and a sloped, architectural shingled roof that harmonizes with the recently constructed sorority houses nearby.

Image 4-This aerial photo of University of Alabama’s new Tutwiler Residence Hall now under construction shows the interconnectedness of the 365,000-square-foot dorm that is designed for social interaction.

*Article Written By Jessica Armstrong and Images Courtesy of Turner Batson Architects